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A historical survey of the Corunca Castle, Romania, based on the military survey maps and present-day measurements

Abstract

Corunca is situated at 4.5 km SE from Târgu-Mureș, near the Salt Stream, the Bozeni Stream, and the Vațman Stream. Its area is inhabited from ancient times. Both prehistoric and Roman findings were reported to have been found within the village boundaries. Its neighbouring medieval village, Sárvári, perished in the 16th century, while Kisernye was devastated by Turkish troops in 1661. The settlement was first recorded in 1332 as Korunka. The Reformed Church was built between 1769 and 1778, while its spire dates from 1793. The earlier church was surrended by high protective walls, which were demolished in 1769.

The extremely ruinous castle with its neoclassical façade and a couple of neighbouring farm buildings appear on the left side of the European route E60 travelling from Târgu-Mureș to Sighișoara. Today, this is a barren place, although once it was surrounded by a grove the size of 120 cadastral acres [2].

During the reign of John Sigismund Zápolya, Prince of Transylvania and ruler of a part of the Kingdom of Hungary, the village belonged to Thomas Mihályfy. The castle was ravaged in 1562 by the revolted Szeklers. After the fall of the Mihályfy family, the Chancellor of Transylvania, Farkas Kovacsóczi owned the estate, which later came down to the Tholdalagi family. The Tholdalagi family belongs to one of the great magnate families of Transylvania, with nicknames deriving from Ercea and Iclod, but originating from Toldal, Mureș County, Romania – their ancient demesne from the 16th century. Mihály I. Tholdalagi (1580–1673), one of the wisest diplomats in the Principality, reshaped the original building to an impressive castle in the 1630s, whose size and adjoining buildings are described in the Inventory dating from 1680. The first members of the Tholdalagi family came to Transylvania from Hungary. According to the family traditions, and also mentioned in their Certificate of Count, their ancestor is the extinguished Alaghi family member, András, who obtained Toldalag settlement together with its neighbouring Ercse in 1453; hence the nickname “Ercsei”. Thus, Mihály Tholdalagi’s parents were Balázs from Gáldtő and Borbála Bessenyei [1].

Open access
Management of invasive plant species in the valley of the River Ślepiotka in Katowice – the example of the REURIS project

Abstract

In recent years, programmes aimed at improving environmental conditions in river valleys within urban spaces have been initiated in many of the European Community countries. An example is the project “Revitalization of Urban River Spaces – REURIS” which was implemented in 2009-2012. Its main aim was to revitalize a part of the valley of the River Ślepiotka in Katowice. One of the tasks of the project was a comprehensive treatment to combat invasive plant species occurring in this area, carried out by using a combination of chemical and mechanical methods. Chemical treatment involved the application of herbicide mixtures, and mechanical treatment included, among others, mowing and/or removal of the undesirable plants. The work focused primarily on reducing the spread of two species of the Impatiens genus: I. glandulifera and I. parviflora, and the species Padus serotina, Reynoutria japonica and Solidago canadensis. Currently, the maintenance works on this section of the river are performed by the Urban Greenery Department in Katowice, which continues the elimination of invasive plants, according to the objectives of the REURIS program. In 2012 the Department of Botany and Nature Protection at the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection started to monitor the implementation and the effects of the implemented actions for elimination and participated in the action of removal of selected invasive plant species: Impatiens parviflora and Reynoutria japonica within specific areas. These actions led to a reduction in the area occupied by invasive plants and a weakening of their growth rate and ability to reproduce.

Open access
Revitalisation of spoil tips and socio-economic polarisation – a case study of Ruhr area (Germany)

Abstract

The paper discusses issues about the revitalisation of spoil tips, socio-economic polarisation and social exclusion in the field of municipal recreational activities based on an example of the largest post-industrial region in Europe – the Ruhr area in Germany. Revitalisation of brownfield areas very often leads to the creation of leisure facilities of various types (with a range of entrance fees) and because of this it may mitigate, or exacerbate, the severity of these negative phenomena. In the Ruhr area there are 104 spoil tips of different origins (mine tips, slag heaps, rubbish dumps), sizes and shapes (from conical heaps, through table mountains shaped tips and intentionally shaped for landscape tips, to major tips) and state of preservation. The research has shown that it is possible to use the majority of these spoil tips in the Ruhr area (87 of them) as leisure facilities as they have been changed into green areas, parks, playgrounds, locations for sports activities and tourist attractions after their restoration. Furthermore, they are mostly accessible free of charge and may serve a wide range of people – from locals to visitors, from children to senior citizens etc., regardless of their income. As such they may mitigate the socio-economic polarisation tendencies in the region.

Open access
Sustainable revitalization of brownfield lands – possibilities of interim utilization in the form of urban community gardens

Abstract

Our PhD researches include brownfield revitalization,1 the application of the methods of interim utilizations on greeneries,2 and the formation background and potential of community gardens.3 We compared our systems of criteria in hope of extensive research conclusions. In order to trace the urban development possibilities in Budapest, we analysed brownfield revitalizations where the interim utilizations included allotment gardens, too. We concluded that such developments are likely to create environmental and social added value. Early results of the valorization process are important by themselves, but the perpetuation of interim land utilization holds even greater values.

Open access
Basic Aspects for the Ecological Restoration of Urban Water Courses

Abstract

Due to the fact that urban water courses provide precious natural and recreational areas within urban surroundings and that they contribute to an increase in quality of life, they have gained more and more importance in recent years. The restoration and planning of urban water bodies pose an enormous challenge, because most of them are in a poor ecological and structural state.

This paper deals with the questions and problems concerning the topic and presents basic aspects for the ecological restoration of urban water courses.

Open access